Rhubarb buckle

This vanilla and rhubarb buckle, a brighter cousin to the traditional American-style teatime cake, is perfect for the cold months when forced rhubarb shines

PREP 40 mins
COOK 1 hrs 10 mins


  • calories 472
  • carbs 65
  • saturated fat 12
  • sugar 39
  • protein 6
  • fat 20
  • fibre 2
  • salt 0.4


50g plain flour
50g golden caster sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
50g unsalted butter, chilled
25g rolled oat
225g thin, forced rhubarb, trimmed, rinsed and cut into 2½ cm/1in-long pieces
50g golden caster sugar
zest 1 orange
100g unsalted butter, room temperature, plus extra for greasing
200g golden caster sugar
zest 1 orange
2 large egg
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
125ml soured cream


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease a deep 20cm round cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. To make the crumble topping, put the flour, sugar and ginger in a bowl and mix together. Add the butter and rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the oats and, using your hands, bring the mixture together into a dough, wrap in cling film and chill until needed.
  3. Put the rhubarb pieces in a bowl with the sugar and orange zest, and mix together. Set aside while you make the cake batter.
  4. Put the butter, sugar and orange zest in a large bowl and, using an electric whisk, beat together until light and fluffy, about 5 mins. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating together until combined before adding the next.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, vanilla paste and a pinch of salt together and, in two additions, fold into the butter mixture, alternating with the soured cream. Tip into your cake tin and level out with a spatula. Top with the rhubarb mixture and finish by breaking the chilled crumble into irregular-sized pieces and scattering over the rhubarb. Bake in the oven for about 1 hr 10 mins or until the crumble is golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Check the cake after 1 hr – if it is colouring too quickly, cover lightly with foil for the final 10 mins.
  6. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins before carefully transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely. Will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days, but the crumble will lose some of its texture after the first day.